More than the Buildings

Tari Stage-Harvey, pastor of Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church (ELCA) in Juneau, AK, recently wrote an article for the Juneau Empire suggesting that it is time for Christians to move beyond their fascination with church property and buildings.  She writes: Something happened in the history of Christianity where the assembly of Jesus’ followers fell in love with buildings. The building became church. The building became something we went to and often quickly exited so we could move on to Read More …

The End of Gender-Segregated Ministries?

Adam J. Copeland recently transitioned from serving as pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Hallock, MN to serving as mission developer of  the ELCA affiliated Project F-M, which is a new "faith community for young adults and the young at heart" in Fargo-Morehead area.  He recently blogged about the limitations of gender-segregated groups, suggesting: Gender-segregated groups seem very old school — glass ceilings are being broken left and right, though we still have a long way to go. While it Read More …

Imagine an Institution

A short illustration, posted on April 20 by Jerry Bowyer on the forbes.com blog, was printed in the May 31, 2011 edition of the Christian Century: Imagine an institution that requires its leaders to attend not only college, but graduate school.  Imagine that the graduate school in question is constitutionally forbidden from receiving any form of government aid, that it typically requires three years of full-time schooling for the diploma, that the nature of the schooling bears almost no Read More …

Toward A Christian Response to the Death of Osama bin Laden

Osama bin Laden’s death has been a lead news story for the last several days.  Over the course of the week I have read a number of tweets, Facebook status messages, and blog posts commenting on the matter from a Christian perspective.  These reflections represent a wide range of theological beliefs, including a number that place United States citizenship above one’s place in the reign of God and sound quite unChristian.  In contrast, I offer the words of leaders from two of the mainline Read More …

Radical Inclusivity

Christian leaders make news headlines on a daily basis, but are rarely portrayed as open minded or inclusive.   Jonathan Devin's "Radical Preachers Buck Mainstream Christianity" tells the story of a growing  interdenominational group of pastors known as Outlaw Preachers who are bound together by their shared belief in radical inclusivity.   Founded in 2008, the group has grown to 300 members and recently held their first conference, which was attended by persons representing "eight states from Read More …

Review of The Truth Shall Make You Odd

Frank G. Honeycutt.  The Truth Shall Make You Odd: Speaking with Pastoral Integrity in Awkward Situations.  Brazos Press, 2011.  ISBN: 9781587432637. Meet the Author Frank G. Honeycutt is an ordained Lutheran (ELCA) pastor with twenty-five years of parish ministry experience who currently serves as Senior Pastor of the nearly 900 member Ebenezer Lutheran Church in Columbia, South Carolina.  He is the author of six books including Marry a Pregnant Virgin: Unusual Bible Stories for New and Read More …

Is Virtual Community Real Community?

While most followers of Jesus who have been on the journey of faith for many years grasp  both the theological and pragmatic need for community, newcomers to the faith may be unfamiliar with the concept given the increasingly individualistic society in which we live.  Many local congregations would benefit from a renewed focus on Christian community.  One helpful example of restoring an intentional emphasis is Our Savior's Lutheran Church (ELCA) in Circle Pines, Minnesota.  Under the leadership Read More …